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The Element of “Fear”

There are numerous sections of the criminal code that speak about the victims fear as an element of the offence. Fear may not have to be of physical violence, psychological well being does qualify for some offences.

The fear will have to be objectively based.  A simple statement from the victim that they were afraid, will not meet the legal requirement. Victims can easily lie or have an irrational anxiety and the Crown does not want to proceed with charges where the fear is not objectively based.

On the other hand a victim may not use the word  “fear” to describe their concern. There is no legal requirement that they use the word “fear” to describe the situation, as long as the words used convey fear.

In most cases including a threat assessment  in your report will draw the Crowns’ attention to the objective facts in support of the statements of fear from the victim.

See Related Link to “Threat Assessment”